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The REXpedition stops people on the street (Well, not really.  We find them on Skype), and asks, “What is going on here?”

Chris Messina is a well-known advocate of the open web, starting as a leader of the community marketing of the launch of the popular Firefox web browser in 2004. He is a board member of the OpenID and Open Web Foundations, and plays an instrumental role in advancing OAuth and safer online computing (more bio here). He currently works at Google as an Open Web Advocate.

Todd Hoskins:  If I told you we are living in the “Relationship Economy,” what does that mean to you?

Chris Messina:  I’d say that the relationship economy is one where I can leverage or make available the various contacts and connections that I’ve nurtured over some period of time.

So, if someone is willing to give me some shareable benefit, I might turn around and promote that benefit to my friends or colleagues, or other people that I’m affiliated with who might have some kind of interest in that benefit.  Obviously this is similar to word-of-mouth, but it’s somewhat more durable, and would take place over time.

Todd:  Openness has been posited as a force within the Relationship Economy.  As an open web advocate, do you see the web becoming more open as a naturally evolving phenomenon, or do we have to push, pull, and campaign for it?

Chris:  Openness is unfortunately one of those words that’s become somewhat geriatric, losing its teeth and forgetting what it means . . . There’s the Facebook “Openness” and Adobe “Openness” and Government “Openness” and they all mean different things.

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